Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Kirsty brings her magic to England

Kirsty Murray touched down on Wednesday 16th and hasn't stopped since.  Kirsty is based in Melbourne, Australia and when we found out that she was coming to the UK to do some research for her new book - we asked for a couple of days of her precious time to do some events.

So on Thursday morning we headed off to Lister Community School in Plaistow for a day of events and activities under the guidance of the hugely energetic LRC manager, Prabha Patel.   She had created a wonderful welcome - with displays and work sheets all focused on Kirsty and her book, India Dark.

Interviews for the school website by the year 7's, followed by signing and raffle in the main foyer area and then onto a workshop with year 8's on being a writer.   Incisive and enquiring questions from all the girls (no boys allowed!) as Kirsty used images and anecdotes to inspire and delight the students.

We met again on Monday morning in Brighton - at Hove Park School, where librarian  Sue Iliffe had arranged for two groups of her top sets in years 8 and 9 to spend 50 mins with Kirsty.  Again some great questions and all loved her pictures and research notes behind India Dark.

Yummy cakes
With about half an hour to spare before having to catch her train to Hereford, we grabbed the opportunity to go and say hello to Vanessa and Jules at The Book Nook and sample their delicious chocolate brownies - it would be rude not to!
Vanessa and Kirsty 

And then off to Hove Station for the next leg of her visit - it was lovely meeting you Kirsty and here's to next time.

We do love to be beside the seaside ...

What a great weekend for the Templar team to be at the Brighton Festival!  Based at the Jubilee Library - which is the city's state of the art venue - conveniently alongside the tent offering free G&T's - we kicked off on Saturday morning with the gracious Jamila Gavin.  She read from Tales from India to an audience of young children and adults (hello Anne!) and kept everyone entranced with her magical storytelling.

Jamila then went off to be interviewed by a young Guardian reviewer Orli -for a Guardian  podcast which will be posted up shortly.

Sam Lloyd and actor Ben Martin casually arrived about 10 mins before curtain up - no, I wasn't worried as I had one of the puppets, so could have done a one-woman-one-puppet show if need be.  The backdrop looked terrific and Sam, ever the creative, had made a fabric tree and found a grass mat, which we accessorised the area with.   Looked lovely.

Silliness and laughs followed as they children were treated to their favourite characters romping around whilst Sam tried to keep some order and read the stories.

A well earned glass of wine followed in the lovely evening sunshine whilst doing a bit of people watching.

Sunday morning, up bright and early again and off down the A23 - accompanied by thousands of mini's on their annual London to Brighton rally.  Hilarious.  Emma Dodd and Kelly Gerrard, ever the professionals, had got the room all set up and the 20 or so young graphic novelists set to, designing and drawing their own spread.  Emma as ever, drew her version of the task in hand - when Little Red Riding Hood meets the wolf in Granma's cottage.

We then headed off for Brunch at Bill's - an institution on a Sunday morning in Brighton and delicious it was.

Paul Collicutt rounded off the afternoon with his very detailed and instructive look at graphic novel ideas with older children and despite it being a Sunday afternoon - they all worked really hard to show their skills.  Several had brought in their sketch books which Paul looked through for them.

A great weekend and thanks to Hilary and team for making it all run so smoothly.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Happy 200th Birthday Mr Lear

Saturday 12th May marked the 200th birthday of Edward Lear, the man who created the wonderful and fantastical lyrics of The Owl and the Pussycat. To celebrate the special occasion, we at Templar are holding a creative Lear inspired competition! Create your own limericks and drawings inspired by Edward Lear and send them to with the subject title 'Edward Lear competition'. One lucky winner will win a signed copy of our The Owl and the Pussycat illustrated by Robert Ingpen.

'The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea
 In a beautiful pea-green boat...'

Entrants must be a resident in the UK or ROI. Drawings cannot be returned so please keep a copy for yourself. Entrants under the age of 16 must ask permission from a parent or guardian before they enter. The closing date for entry is 12/6/12, any entries received after this date will not be entered into the prizedraw. All entrants must include their name and address with their drawing or they will not be entered into the prizedraw. Only the winning entry will be contacted. The judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Full terms and conditions can be found on the Templar Publishing website

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

A Reckless Magick cover results are in...

....Drum roll please....

Over the past few weeks our lovely readers have been voting for their favourite A Reckless Magick cover and we are pleased to announce the results....

The pink cover received 54 votes, but with 74 votes the yellow cover is our winner!

Thank you to everyone who took part.